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Flyin6

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Reply with quote  #1 
I thought I'd share this project with the folks in this forum. Maybe (hopefully) pickup some good advice with respect to its construction.
Project overview: I have a farm in central Kentucky which I use as a lavatory to test homesteading ideas. It is a remote site currently 90 odd acres which is expanding to around 400. It was once an Amish farm that still has some things they built, like my 56 foot deep stone lined well that was built sometime prior to 1836!
Having been a hillbilly hunting lease for decades, I rescued the place some years ago and decided to go self sustainable and self sufficient. Thus, all the projects going on there share that theme. Get off the grid, well toss the grid away, and actually be able to make a "Go" of it there almost unsupported

I had to start with a clean slate. It took me two years to establish a "Road" back into it, and another year to clear fields somewhat. Last winter, I built a "Shed" which is a story and a half 16 X 32 shop and soon to be upstairs cabin like living. I placed a camper on it a year ago and now manage to stay there several days in a row with its support.

Even though I plan to be independent of the grid, I did get power in and connected this year, to aid me in all the projects and construction going on there at the moment.

Subsequent to the sparks, next I needed some stable water source that doesn't have crawdads and other things in it...So I procurred two of the 330 gallon "Totes" liquid transportation tanks, cleaned them and set them beside the camper. 

After considerable work, I now have the three season camper morphed into a fully skirted, somewhat heated questionable four season camper. So far, so good!

I like water, not only to drink, but also th wash the major body parts after a long busy day wrestling with tangleweed and cedar trees. The 660 gallons will keep me oder neutral (By Kentucky standards) for some time...As long as that water continues to move. Unfortunately although we don't have many laws in the Tuck, we do have the laws of physics in play, and one of them states "Water tanks parked along side of campers outside at temps below 32F stop sloshing, and delivering liquid water!

Yea, I was surprised to! Well, this leads us to the last expenditure of around $500 in materials on my trailer in my back yard of my proper home, in a not so remote proper neighborhood.

The plan is to build an insulated enclosure around the tanks, and create a solar heater of sorts out of the south wall. If it all works out, and with a hope and a prayer, the heat makers might heat the considerable mass of 5,000 pounds of water enough to keep it in a liquid state for my luxury showers!

So the thread is off n' running, or runnin' as we like to say here. Here's a shot of the camper setup before the added destruction:

Attached Images
jpeg DSCN3253_(Medium).JPG (246.50 KB, 49 views)


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Retired Army Pilot, Author, "Distant Thunder" Living in Kentucky. Owner, web site: RealManTruckWorksandSurvival.com
Operating a living homestead/Survivalist labratory/Farm in North/Central KY

SolarInterested

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyin6
... The plan is to build an insulated enclosure around the tanks, and create a solar heater of sorts out of the south wall.
I think you're on the right track if all you want to do is prevent freezing. There's the potential to make hot water for your showers too.

Anyways, for glazing there's twin wall polycarbonate which provides a good mix of transmissivity (clearness) and insulation values. You might think of your enclosure as a low temp batch heater:
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/WaterHeating/water_heating.htm#Batch  

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Flyin6

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Reply with quote  #3 
The plan as stated in my first posting is a point from which to move forward, little more.
Tomorrow I plan to build the enclosure in the shop at my home in a manner where it can be broken down, transported, then erected on site.

I will leave the south wall which is perched up on that ridge with no shading and a perfect view on the sun, unfinished to a degree. Plan is to build the collectors and fit them into framed out recesses in the wall, much the same as adding in windows to a new wall.

Now I may drive on with my version of a simple hot air generator, or, I may go a different route.

Plan B might be to construct a CPVC grid in the collector and run that via pex, or plastic, or something into the water tanks and just allow the water itself to be heated. That IS the end goal as it were, so perhaps that is the direction I shuld pursue.

With respect to door number 2, I am wondering if convection will be enough to promote some sort of circulation...If I place a one way valve in the output (Hot) line. Obviously,  it would only allow one way traffic. And hot flows into cold (Do I have that right??) And the hot water from the collector top CPVC manifold would then travel forward into much cooler water, causing a contraction and pressure differential of the cooling fluid withing the closed loop pipe. So would all that mumbo jumbo support the circulation?

I don't want to rely on a pump (Something which requires power and a more complicated control mechanism), nossir, I would like this system to be as dumb as some of my neighbors around here. I just want it to work with some degree of efficiency...

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Retired Army Pilot, Author, "Distant Thunder" Living in Kentucky. Owner, web site: RealManTruckWorksandSurvival.com
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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #4 
When you get your storage tanks worked out look into the ARETHA for your collector. Quick, easy to build, and can be solar powered.
https://simplysolar.supporttopics.com/post/aretha-project-hot-air-collector-with-car-radiator-6882647?highlight=aretha&trail=10

With a copper heat exchanger loop you can put antifreeze in the collector side or you can install it as a drainback.


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Flyin6

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Reply with quote  #5 
Italian engineering at its finest...sort of
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Retired Army Pilot, Author, "Distant Thunder" Living in Kentucky. Owner, web site: RealManTruckWorksandSurvival.com
Operating a living homestead/Survivalist labratory/Farm in North/Central KY
billdad

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Reply with quote  #6 
Very funny writing! Welcome to the site! How about a solar panel to just heat the side of the tank during the day to keep it warm enough to avoid freezing at night? You would have to "super insulate" the tanks and plumbing though. Do you just need it liquid or heated enough to shower too? This idea reminds me of the "Trombe wall", but used to heat whatever. Google Trombe wall and you will get the ideas.
I like the whole idea of recovering the land and buildings. Great job!


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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #7 
That would be ideal IF one could make it work. Have the tanks located so they're exposed to the winter sun, cover that side with glazing and "super insulate" everything else. Hopefully there would be enough mass in the tanks to prevent freezing at night. Basically a big "batch" collector.
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Flyin6

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Reply with quote  #8 
Got the funny writing from:
1. Being in the Army too long...
2. Being too close to the sun's damaging rays (High altitude) too many times
3. Realizin' (In the tuck, we don't see the need for "g's) well, realizin'... something that I can't remember what the heck I was going to say...Possible CRS onset there...

Ah, forget all that, I'm havin' a CIMER moment (Coffee Induced Early Mornin' Rant) of the humorous variety. 

Yea, so, on my build, with this darned cold kicking my butt I managed to cram an hours worth of work into about four hours! Translation: Progress is a clogged up head, slow!

But I did get the south wall framed out for two 36" wide and something between 1" and 60" tall collector. I hope to do that later on after I get through coughing up my left shoe. Actually the daughter is bringing up her dog for breakfast. No, we aren't actually going to cook the dog! But, the thing is, this dog, named Dumas... will be within attack range of my German Shepherd, a little fact that no one seems to have considered. 

So If I don't write back for a few days, I'm thinking it is something like 48 hours in the county jail for shootin' your daughters dog within the town limits or something like that. And although I only go down there to share the good word with the boneheads who inhabit that place, I hear the food is pretty good!

OK, CIMER kickin' in here...What were we talkin' about? 

Ah, I remember, sunlight, that's it! So Since I am making an elaborate write up of this contraption on my web site, I have to 1. Keep things simple, 2. Keep it inexpensive. 3. Create it in such a way as our recent vintage of "Educated" people fresh out of school can actually duplicate, and a not so distant 4. The thing has to work

So that is the spirit of the thing. But if you have taken time to look over the various things I/we have going on at this funzy laboratory of hillbilly science, you'll have picked up the fact that Don don't do simple. No I have a derange need to over build, over complicate, and over engineer most things I do. As a pilot if I am flying somewhere three hours away, then 6 hours of fuel is my minimum. If I am going down to the farm for two days and an overnight, the cost at the register at the grocery store is $164. Half tank on the fuel gage in my truck is "Empty" to me. My shed has 200 amp electrical service, and to clear off a two hundred by twenty patch of cedars, I purchased a bulldozer.

So that all means, slappin on a spot of schwartz paint on one side of my hillbilly water tanks and a bunch of old news papers and straw on the other other sides would be a "Yawn" and about three rungs below boring!

Nossir, not for me! Mine is going to have some advance aeronautical engineering concept in play. I'll start with Mr. Bernolli (That guy who invented the lift equation, and overly complicated my life as an aviator!) then add some stealth technology, and finish with a serving of quantum mechanics!

So I was thinking...Hold on, just remembered something
Three of the most dangerous people in the Armee:
1. A captain who says: "I've been thinking"
2. A lietenuent who starts off saying, "It's been my experience..."
3. and The Warrant Officer Pilot who's voice on the cockpit recorder, later recovered from the scene, says, "Watch this!"

Sorry, I seem to have diverged a tad bit, back on point with ya!
OK so I am thinkin' about making up a box, say 36" X 36-48" and placing within it a pretty little grid of copper. Attach the top n' bottom (Kintucky phonetics right there) to a pex pipe which is:
1 Sealed well
2. Filled with RV antifroze (Not freeze, it's froze!)
3. Routed from said ends of the radiator grid into the 330 gal water tanks and coiled all over in a mess like some black lives matter protest crowd
4. Blessed by Tibetan Monks for a long and happy life
and
5. something else I can't recall at the moment EMF (Early mornin' forgetfulness) due to lack of quoffee and this CIMER psychological quirk thing I seem to have goin' on.
So,
For reference purposes only, I post the construction of the thing over on my web site...Just makin' a reference, not trying to slide in advertising or anything, but really, its too much work doing those write ups and pics twice.

So, I'm in a state where the quoffee effects are at war with this super cold I have and the results are less than desirable..Therefore I bid you all adieu'

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Retired Army Pilot, Author, "Distant Thunder" Living in Kentucky. Owner, web site: RealManTruckWorksandSurvival.com
Operating a living homestead/Survivalist labratory/Farm in North/Central KY
colinmcc

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi, Tried to visit RealManTruckWorksandSurvival.com ... It doesn't exist... ?

And, you write "I have a farm in central Kentucky which I use as a lavatory to test homesteading ideas."  Is that where you 'dump' them? Sorry I too am having a CIMER moment [wink]
Flyin6

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Reply with quote  #10 
Dog-gone spell checker!
Well on my farm I guess I have a lavatory as well! ;-))

I'll post a link to it:
http://real-man-truckworks-and-survival.com/index.php?topic=2365.700

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Retired Army Pilot, Author, "Distant Thunder" Living in Kentucky. Owner, web site: RealManTruckWorksandSurvival.com
Operating a living homestead/Survivalist labratory/Farm in North/Central KY
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